August 1, 2011

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Utah Business Staff

August 1, 2011

TURLEY: I’m with a company called i.t.Now. We’re a local IT service provider. What we really focus on is trying to provide technology solutions for small businesses—mostly in Utah, but we also have some national clients—so that small business owners can get back to doing the work they know how to do, as opposed to trying to do the work we know how to do.

We’ve had about four new hires this year alone. We’ve got about 60 full-time employees. The interesting hiring challenge that we’re having is there seems to be a shelf between employees that are largely unskilled in the technology space for what we do versus employees who are a little bit more skilled. There’s really a gap. There’s about a 15 percent increase in salary between these people who are unskilled and interested and people who are skilled, but require a much larger amount of pay. So it’s a hiring challenge for us to allocate budget for hiring somebody, but also getting the skills we need.

HELLEWELL: I’m senior vice president of product development at Spillman Technologies. We’re in the public safety software business. We sell our software to police departments, sheriff’s offices, jails, emergency dispatch centers.

We have 230 employees now and 10 openings. Most of those are for software engineers. And we’ve hired 15 to 20 employees in the last 12 months. Our challenge is in finding software engineers. They’re hard to come by right now, especially experienced Java developers.

CHECKETTS: I was the COO of Mozy when it was acquired by EMC in October 2007. My title now within EMC is vice president of operations. We’ve got—between Mozy, Iomega and EMC—about 300 employees in Utah. But I have 500 openings right now. It’s a pretty daunting, but very exciting challenge.

Our challenges are three-fold. A lot of those jobs are going to be technical support jobs for the Americas. So we want technical people that are also at least bilingual, so Spanish and Portuguese. That’s a challenge. We get a lot of resumes that are call-center-type employees, and that’s not what we’re building. We’re building a technical support center. These are career, very technical, very professional-types of roles. The third challenge is really the partnership with universities in particular. We see a void in terms of cloud computing. You really don’t see those kinds of courses being taught in the universities right now. If we had the right courses in those universities, the right partnerships with technology companies, that would help fill this gap of people who are coming out with degrees, who are also trained in the right emerging technologies.

BRUNI: I’m the general manager of business operations and senior director of customer experience for BackCountry.com. We’re getting ready to start hiring for our fourth quarter, and we’ll hit about 800-plus FTEs.

We’re based in Park City, but we have an office in Costa Rica, where a large part of our technology engineers are based, about 40. So we didn’t spend a lot of time the last couple of years in the down economy trying to hire talent here. And maybe that was a mistake.

But we are in the process of migrating to a more Enterprise Java code base. And there are definitely challenges in finding the level of engineering you need everywhere. It’s a demand right now that most companies are seeking.

SYLVESTER: I’m chief technologist at L-3 Communications/Communications Systems West, in Salt Lake. We’ve got over 3,000 people, and 1,200 or more are engineers in our engineering group. We build intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data links.

We’ve grown at over 10 percent per year for at least the least five years. We’ve got over 130 openings right now, and we currently have about 100 co-ops from the universities working with us this summer. Our hire rate is about 80 percent of those. So that’s a strong pipeline. In fact, more than 50 percent of our people have less than five years tenure with us.

We have a real difficult time hiring specific expertise from the coasts to come to Utah.

We bring them in, they love it, but then they go back and take a job either in San Francisco or Washington, D.C. It’s hard to bring in the high-level expertise. So we have to home grow that, which is tricky sometimes.

We’ve just opened what we call the “University of Manufacturing” in conjunction with Salt Lake Community College because we ran out of solder, cable or test people. We use their facilities and teachers, and we pay them to train the people and bring them over.

YOUNG: I’m with Ancestry.com. I’m the SVP of technology operations. We’re a consumer-based internet company. There’s been a lot of growth for us recently. We’re really hiring as fast as we can get people, anywhere we can get good people. We’re somewhere north of 800 total FTEs at the moment. The majority are in Utah, but for certain specific skills and for diversity of background, we’ve been forced to look outside the area.

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